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Lower gold prices in VN encourage smuggling



HÀ NỘI — Local gold prices slipped below global prices on March 11 for the first time since 2010, a rare event because of the contrasting demand between the two markets.

In the morning, one tael of the state-owned brand SJC gold bar was sold for VNĐ34.06 million (US$1,525) in the Saigon Jewellery Company, which offered to buy one tael of gold bars from buyers for VND300,000 less than the selling price.

Less buyers visit gold shop recently as local investors are not showing much interest in buying the yellow metal. — Phoho

Less buyers visit gold shop recently as local investors are not showing much interest in buying the yellow metal. — Phoho

At the same time, on the global gold trading floor, one ounce of gold was sold for $1,271.3 or VND34.36 million per tael (one ounce = 1.205 tael; one US dollar = VND22,350).

So, the price of one tael of gold in Viet Nam was VND300,000 less than the world market price. Vietnamese gold prices have always been higher than the global market prices by VND2 million to VND3 million per tael. In 2010, the price gap peaked, ranging between VNĐ5 million and VNĐ6 million per tael.

Regarding the low demand from domestic traders, though the local gold prices also rose in the last two days, the increase was much lower than the global ones.

On March 11, each tael of gold added between VND100,000 and VND300,000 in price.

According to Phu Nhuan Jewellery, the sentiment towards gold investment is changing in Viet Nam. Earlier, the investors actively traded their gold in the local market when they saw a rise in global prices. Now, the investors are not showing much interest in buying the yellow metal.

According to, gold climbed to a 13-month high on Friday, buoyed by the euro’s gains after the European Central Bank (ECB) signalled it was done cutting interest rates for now.

Bullion climbed 1.5 percent on Thursday, its largest single-day gain in a week, and was on course for a second weekly rise. For the year, gold has added more than 20 per cent in the global market.

Gold smuggling

Lower gold prices are much more stable, thanks to government decree No 24, which introduced a state monopoly in gold bar production and gold material imports and export since 2012, for better control over the local market and deals with speculators and the ‘goldenisation’ of the market.

However, when the gold fell, as it has now, many official traders who saw reduced business in the local market and no opportunity to export their gold thought about cross-border gold smuggling to gain from the price difference.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HCM City State Bank branch, told local media that the city police had informed the bank about gold smuggling across the borders. However, these involved a very small volume of gold, comprising mainly gold jewellery and not bullion or material gold, Minh said, adding it could not have a negative impact on the Viet Nam market.

Minh said the current SBV ban on gold export as well as tax policies did not make it the right time for gold export that could help bring profit to local gold traders.

Minh said SBV would continue to research for solutions and suggestions that could both support businesses and stabilise the gold market and foreign currency.


National Wheelchair Tennis Championships to start in Hà Nội



The Việt Nam Tennis Federation gave wheelchairs to athletes with disabilities in HCM City to prepare for the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships. — Photo courtesy of VTF

HÀ NỘI — The National Wheelchair Tennis Championships takes place in Hà Nội on December 1.

Independent participants as well as players from units and member clubs of the Việt Nam Tennis Federation (VTF) will take part in the event.

Athletes will compete in four events, men’s and women’s singles and men’s and women’s doubles.

This is the first time the VTF has cooperated with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to organise the Vietnamese national wheelchair tennis event.

The tournament will apply the wheelchair tennis rules issued by the International Tennis Federation. The only difference between wheelchair tennis and regular tennis is that the ball can bounce off the court twice. The second bounce off the court is allowed outside the touch-line.

This event aims to create a useful playground, helping athletes with disabilities have the opportunity to gain experience, hone competitive skills and accumulate points.

In addition to trophies and bonuses, winners will have the opportunity to gain bonus points, including 60 points for the first place, 40 points for second place and 20 points for third place.

Following this event, the best athletes will also be selected to the national wheelchair tennis team to prepare for the ASEAN Para Games which will take place on June 3-9, 2023 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Wheelchair tennis is widely played in many countries around the world. In addition to competing in Grand Slam tournaments, wheelchair tennis is also one of the sports competed at the summer Olympics for the disabled.

Wheelchair tennis is no longer a strange sport for Vietnamese athletes with disabilities. However, until now, most of the disabled athletes who are passionate about this sport only focus on small group activities.

With the spirit of social responsibility and the desire to create more opportunities to participate in sports activities and affirm the personal efforts of people with disabilities, the VTF with the support from the ITF gave 10 wheelchairs to athletes with disabilities in Thái Nguyên City and HCM City. VNS


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The most technologically advanced World Cup ever



Minh Nguyễn

Minh Nguyễn

This year’s World Cup has been known for several unique traits that have never occurred before. For starters, it is in winter instead of the traditional summer. It is also the most expensive World Cup ever, with a estimated bill of around US$220 billion, the ban of alcohol and more. However, not everything about the tournament this year is controversial. It has introduced to us some of the most advanced technology the sport has ever seen. So I thought I’d use the opportunity to get technical! 

The Al Rihla ball. Photo courtesy of Adidas

 The Al Rihla ball

The 2022 World Cup’s ball is absolutely unique. Its leather has an Inertial Measurement Unit sensor which can detect the exact moment the ball is hit, without negatively affecting the performance. It is utilised with the 12 cameras placed in various places across the stadium in order to provide all the necessary info to the referees and managers. Indeed, the data not only helps the officials, but also aids the coaches on their players as well as the opponents.

Semi-automated offside

Normally with the use of VAR, the video team still has to spend a little time re-watching the footage so as to determine if the play has been offside or not. Nevertheless, the aforementioned Al Rihla ball as well as the camera system will alert the VAR team automatically about the offside decision, which will allow the decisions to be made more quickly and precisely. This system has been successfully tested at some of the previous FIFA tournaments, including the Arab Cup and the Club World Cup, both in 2021. However, this technology still sparked some controversies in some of the matches so far, including the first disallowed goal from Ecuador in the opening match.


How the semi-automated offside is portrayed in 3D

Better experience for fans

FIFA has introduced a mobile app which enables fans to track every single player’s statistics in the tournament. This is very convenient for us as we don’t have to search for a different website to check our favorite players. Moreover, we can see these numbers anywhere as we always bring our smartphones along.

Broadcasting has also become more and more advanced through the years, as the number of TV channels and websites that offer us World Cup experiences have increased by a large number compared to the previous tournaments. Additionally, the quality of the broadcast has also improved a lot, with 4K being the norm these days.

Enhanced security for fans at the stadium

Safety for supporters has always been a great concern for every major tournament. With the aim of guaranteeing this issue, the board has installed an estimated 15,000 cameras with facial recognition in order to identify any wrongdoers, as well as to prevent terrorism, which has been a concern for a long time in the Middle East.

So there you have it. The World Cup organisation has so far raised a few eyebrows to say the least. But one thing’s for sure, it is the most high-tech tournament the game has ever seen. VNS



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Star basketball player on personal motivation to learn Vietnamese



Tim Waale – the captain of professional basketball club Saigon Heat – recently discussed his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account.

Waale, also known as Dinh Khai Tam, answered a fan’s question about why he was unable to speak Vietnamese fluently despite growing up in Vietnam.

He has a Vietnamese mother and a Danish father. He lived in Vietnam before relocating to Denmark when he was in high school.

“I went to international schools when I was a kid and only spoke English,” Waale explained.

“I also talked to my parents in English at home.

“My mother tried to teach me Vietnamese, but I was too lazy to learn.”

The 24-year-old player said he later regretted it when he was unable to communicate with his grandparents when visiting them in northern Thai Nguyen Province during the Lunar New Year holiday.

“Even though I was never able to talk to my grandmother again after she passed away, I was determined to learn Vietnamese,” he said.

Tim Waale shares his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account. Photo: VBA

Tim Waale shares his motivation to learn Vietnamese on his Instagram account. Photo: VBA

Tuan Anh, the fan who asked Waale the question, thanked the player for his answer, saying that it is never too late to learn something.

“I really hope that you will be in the Vietnamese national basketball team one day. Good luck, Tim.”

Another fan said he will communicate with Waale in Vietnamese more often to help him practice.

Waale has participated in the VBA pro basketball league since its first season in 2016.

The 1.93-meter-tall player and other members of Saigon Heat won the championship title in three consecutive seasons in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

He is widely considered one of the best athletes in the league and won the Block of the Year title at the VBA 2022.

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